The morning of Saturday, October 14 was a scene familiar to some Islanders — the boys and girls cross country teams waiting in pre-dawn darkness at the North Ferry for the day’s first boat. A school bus came quickly down the hill, then halted to a stop several feet from the terminal.
Already aboard were runners from East Hampton High School, accompanied by their coach, and Shelter Island resident, Kevin Barry. Shelter Island’s runners piled on and together the teams set off for Rhode Island to compete in an annual invitational hosted by Brown University.
To the racers’ delight, the temperature in Rhode Island was brisk accompanied by light showers. The course is designated as 5K, but actually it’s a woods-enclosed 2.98 miles. The first race of the day for the Islanders was the boys JV. Brandon Payano, Alberto Morales,Jason Green, Pacey Cronin, Matthew Strauss, and Theo Olinkiewicz ran alongside 17 rival teams.
The boys ran hard and they ran well. Payano led the charge, finishing at 17:55 and earning 5th place overall, complete with a medal. Morales was next to cross the finish line at 20:35, followed in time by Green, 21:03, Cronin, 21:47, Strauss, 26:04, and Olinkiewicz at 26:29.
Approximately an hour later, Emma Martinez-Majdišová, Francesca Frasco, Emma Gallagher, Justine Karen and Lindsey Gallagher took to the starting line for the girls varsity 1 race. Shelter Island’s girls held their own, coming in cumulatively 13th out of 21 teams.
As is now seemingly tradition, Lindsey Gallagher ran ahead of the pack. She earned a 19:04 time, and placed 4th. The younger of the two Gallaghers, Emma, was only slightly over a minute behind her big sister, finishing at 20:38. Next came Karen and Frasco, who ran the race largely at an elbows distance apart, providing each other with support and motivation.
Karen ran a 22:59, sneaking in just before the minute change. Frasco completed her race at 23:24. This was a hard race for Martinez-Majdišová; soon into the race she began to experience dizziness. Nevertheless, she toughed it out, finishing at 36:10.
The last race was the boys varsity 1 race. Kal Lewis won first place overall with a 15:27 time. After crossing the finish line he was quickly whisked away by a reporter from Milesplit for a post-race interview.
Joshua Green also medaled, finishing in 5th place at 16:02. Green was followed by Jonas Kinsey at 17:44 with Domingo “Junior” Gil close behind at 17:59. Finishing for the Island team was Tyler Gulluscio with 18:12, Jack Lang with 18:16, and Michael Payano with 18:28.